New Mexico May 18, 2017
This Charming Restaurant In The Heart Of O’Keeffe Country Is A New Mexico Dream
O’Keeffe Country conjures images of earth so intensely red that you have to pinch yourself to check you’re not dreaming and of bleached white rock formations that together form landscapes of stark beauty. Few artists have so successfully captured the scenery in Northern New Mexico as Georgia O’Keeffe. And that’s why the area encompassing Santa Fe, Abiquiu, and Taos will always be known as O’Keeffe Country.
In addition to landscapes, O’Keeffe depicted buildings like the "Ranchos Church," which she painted in 1930-31.
Right across the street, you’ll find a historic restaurant that provides superb food, an enticingly warm atmosphere, and views of the San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church, a.k.a. "Ranchos Church."
Located in Ranchos de Taos, on the edge of Taos itself, Old Martina’s Hall is housed in a charming building that is about two hundred years old.
Originally called Old Martinez Hall, the restaurant has hosted parties by the likes of Dennis Hopper and performances by musical legends such as Ricky Nelson. This is what it used to look like.
Today, the picturesque architecture remains. But the cuisine is inspired by a blend of traditional New Mexican flavors paired with contemporary Southwestern flair, courtesy of Chef John Lamendola.
Although the plating and quality of the food suggest fine dining, the introduction of a prix fixe early dinner menu makes the fare affordable for most.
Of course, if you eat later, you’ll be able to indulge in the delectable fettucini alfredo, which features sundried tomato and green chile.
Lunch has a more casual feel with a focus on sandwiches, soups, and salads.
Thankfully, the beloved pecan-crusted chile relleno is available at both meals.
Old Martina’s Hall also offers a traditional Sunday brunch. Oh, the eggs Benedict!
While the vibe inside is cozy, comfy, and charming...
...Take time to admire the San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church outside. Dating back to 1812, the building combines Native American and Spanish styles. As you can see, the restaurant is across from the rear of the church.
Some might find the buttresses less appealing than the entrance, but this perspective is precisely the one that spoke to O’Keeffe. She called the church "one of the most beautiful buildings left in the United States by the early Spaniards," continuing: "I had to paint it—the back several times, the front once."
Regardless of whether or not you’re an O’Keeffe fan, you’ll definitely become a devotee of Old Martina’s Hall after dining here.
Lounge on the scenic outdoor patio…
…Or check out happy hour at the bar, which runs from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
The restaurant is open on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. for the rest of the week (save Tuesday when it is closed). To take advantage of the prix fixe dinner menu, order between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Old Martina’s Hall is located at 4140 Highway 68 in Rancho de Taos. Have you dined at this historic eatery?
For more information, visit
the restaurant’s Facebook page.
New Mexico has numerous old restaurants. Here are
11 that have stood the test of time.